• Friday Finds
  • Posts
  • Friday Finds — Slowing Down, Community Framework, Power of Surprising Words

Friday Finds — Slowing Down, Community Framework, Power of Surprising Words

Sign up here to get Friday Finds in your inbox every Friday

“If you care about being thought credible and intelligent, do not use complex language where simpler language will do.”

Daniel Kahneman

We’re heading towards the July 4th holiday here (how is summer going so fast!?) For us that means another softball tournament this weekend followed by some vacation time next week in the mountains. As you’ll see in one of this week’s articles, I’m heading the advice to slow down and give my brain a break by getting outside so I can come back refreshed and recharged. Hope you’re getting a chance to slow down and get outside too!

As always, thanks for reading.

🎶 What I’m Listening To

Since I’m heading into a vacation week and giving my brain a much needed break, this band seems perfect for today. Take a listen to Hippo Campus Radio

👆 Last Week’s Most Clicked

10 Toolkits I Can’t Live Without

📰 News & Notes

Slow Down, It’s What Your Brain Is Begging For

In our fast-paced society, our brains need a break to balance our focus and daydreaming capabilities. Overwhelmed by work and digital distractions, we're deprived of the mental rest needed for creativity and wellbeing. This imbalance, driven by tight schedules and constant media exposure, leads to chronic distraction harming our mental health and societal fabric. It's important that we regain control, reduce the noise, and provide our brains the necessary respite.

🎯 Take away: It's crucial to consciously carve out time for mental rest and to disengage from the continuous stream of information and demands on our attention​.

Surprising words and sentence structure makes your messages more effective

You probably know that I’m a fan of stealing things from the marketing field. This research-backed copywriting tip is an interesting one. Research suggests that mildly surprising copy, which uses unexpected sentence structures and words, can make messages more effective, leading to higher conversion rates. This strategy, confirmed through experiments and analysis of Amazon reviews, advises maintaining a balance in your copy's "surprise score" (ideally between 1.9 and 2.3) to avoid being too predictable or confusing.

🎯 Take away: Use this surprise-level calculator to test your copy. The optimal level of surprise boosted ad CTRs by up to 127.5%.

Use The Four Blocks Framework to get People Powering Your Community

The Four Blocks Framework is a tool designed to help build a strong community. It starts with using story to establish authenticity and foster connections. Next, the story is shared, encouraging member to connect over shared experiences. Relationships are then cultivated and community members are invited to collaborate and co-create, instilling a sense of ownership. The result is a 'flywheel effect', where sharing, connection, and co-creation become self-sustaining, fostering an ongoing sense of community that can be scaled up over time.

🎯 Take away: The Four Blocks Framework is a simple yet powerful visual tool that helps start with people when building a community -- and to reconnect with them when things go wrong.

Huberman’s 4-Step Protocol For Learning that Changes Your Brain

I love Andrew Huberman’s podcasts, but they’re really long and I never have time to listen to the whole thing. Fortunately, Charlotte Grysolle distills Andrew Huberman's 4-Step Protocol for effective learning for us. This method leverages our brain's neuroplasticity, or its ability to adapt based on experience. The process involves creating alertness and focus through the release of specific neurochemicals, epinephrine and acetylcholine, respectively. The protocol is implemented in four steps: establishing a purpose for learning, focusing visual attention, working in 90-minute sessions, and practicing newly learned skills.

🎯 Take away: ​Andrew Huberman's 4-Step Protocol effectively optimizes learning through purposeful alertness, focused attention, timed work sessions, and skill practice​.

Nurtured by Nature

This piece delves into the impactful role that nature plays in human growth and wellness. It elaborates on how encounters with the natural world can lead to improvements in physical health, intellectual growth, and mental well-being. Reference is made to numerous research efforts that underscore the advantages of dedicating time to nature-filled spaces. Submerging oneself in the lush beauty of terrestrial or marine environments promotes intellectual stimulation and emotional elevation. The interaction with nature, no matter how brief, has a beneficial effect on our well-being - with isolated, richly diverse locations potentially offering more pronounced advantages, although even city parks and green spaces hold significant value.

🎯 Take away: Research is advancing our understanding of how time in nature can improve our mental health and sharpen our cognition.

Do you want practical, helpful, and actionable eLearning resources on instructional design, AI for L&D, learning system features, or online training use cases – to broaden your toolkit? Visit the Neovation Learning Hub and subscribe for free insights and resources sent to your inbox!

Get smarter in 5 minutes with Morning Brew (it's free)

There's a reason over 4 million people start their day with Morning Brew - the daily email that delivers the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Business news doesn't have to be boring...make your mornings more enjoyable, for free.

Check it out for free!

AI Tool Report

Learn AI in 5 Minutes a Day

We'll teach you how to save time and earn more with AI.

Join 70,000+ free daily readers for trending tools, productivity-boosting prompts, the latest news, and more.

Check it out for free!

55k+ marketers and growth hackers swear by this daily newsletter

Stacked Marketer curates the most useful and important digital marketing news and boils it down to a 7-minute read.

Every weekday, you get breaking news, insights, advertising hacks, tips & tricks for all your digital marketing -- Facebook, Google, content marketing, SEO, Snap, TikTok, email, and countless others.

If you’re a marketer looking to constantly up your game or a founder who wants to make sure they’re nailing their growth, this is one free resource you absolutely need to be taking advantage of.

Subscribe to Stacked Marketer for free.

🎧 Podcasts

These are the conversations that caught my ear this week.

Have something to promote? Get yourself in front of an insanely smart group of over 5000 learning pros. Email me if you're interested.

🧰 Tech Tools & Tips

If tools are your jam, check out my new Work Smarter newsletter.


Resources for IDs

A successful instructional designer is one who practices what they preach – continuous learning. Here are 8 insightful resources that address various aspects of ID and will help you level up your knowledge and skills. Check them out!


Guides and templates:

Pre-recorded webinars:

🧳 Where’s Mike?

If you or your event needs a speaker or workshop that is highly interactive and super practical we should talk.

Like this post? Share it with someone you love. Don't like it? Share it with someone you don't!

Friday Finds is an independent publication that I produce in my free time. You can support my work by sharing it with the world, booking an advertising spot, or by buying me a coffee.

Join the conversation

or to participate.